The sentence of whipping immediately executed upon her
Sarah Boyce of Pembroke, “singlewoman” gave birth to “a bastard child” in 1716 and confessed that “Squire, a negro man, was the father”. The “court ordered her to be publically whipped 10 stripes and to pay fees and charges”. Furthermore, Boyce birthed a bastard child the previous May and confessed, “that Richard, a negro man…of Marshfield…was the father”. Again, the “court ordered her to be publically whipped 10 stripes and to pay fees and charges”, which combined with the previous charges totaled 33s.8d. The sentences of whipping were immediately executed upon her.
Above the case of Sarah Boyce, a married couple is fined £4; beneath is the case of Cornelius Clarke, charged with fornication with Susana Stevens. After pleading not guilty, the case was dismissed on payment of 19s. There are two more cases of fornication on this page and the following page, but Sarah Boyce is the only one of the many fornicators that received corporal punishment…although we don’t know if the fathers of Sarah Boyce’s children faced any punishment.
SOURCE: Plymouth County, MA: Plymouth Court Records, 1686-1859. CD-ROM. Boston, MA.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002. Copyright, 2002, Pilgrim Society. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.)
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